Bank of Africa bags ‘Best Bank in Trade Finance’
Bank of Africa (BOA) Ghana has been named the 2022 Trade Finance Bank of the Year by two institutions -the Innovation and Excellence Awards and the Ghana Credit Excellence Awards 2022.
The awards organised by the International Center for Strategic Alliances (ICSA), and the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM), both honoured BOA for its remarkable contribution to promoting cross-border trade and financing small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs).
According to management of the bank, the recognition by these two institutions affirms the bank’s position as a specialist trade finance institution as it was also adjudged the ‘Trade Finance Bank of the Year,’ at the 2021 Ghana Accountancy and Finance Award last year.
The Executive Director of Business Development, William Boateng, reiterated the deliberate efforts and product lines developed by the bank to position it as a lead trade finance bank on the continent, leveraging on its existing infrastructure and presence in over 20 African countries as well as other continents.
He mentioned that in these challenging times when the whole trade ecosystem on the continent is under threat, due to currency depreciation, and high inflation rates among others, the ability to still support businesses and keep them sustained is what stakeholders consider, adding, “therefore, to be recognised for the bank’s contribution towards trade is an affirmation that the initiatives and inputs are yielding results and show how firm the foundations of the bank are”.
“What has enabled these successes chalked over the past few years is that we realised our capacity in terms of our group network on the African continent, Asia and America and then decided to leverage it to make trade a key pillar of thebBank’s strategy. The basic infrastructures were present, and the foundation was solid, hence the important task then was to bring on board the necessary skills and expertise to harmonise all the competitive advantages which was done competently”, he said.
Head of Cross-Border Trade & Business Synergy, Musah Abdul-Rahman, on his part mentioned that a key factor to the bank’s success is the keen interest in receiving feedback from customers.
“We use these feedbacks to analyse the impact and value of our products and services. The bank’s inability to meet certain needs of our customers is considered an assignment to go back to the drawing board to find solutions which later feed into the bank’s strategic development.”
According to the Executive Director for Business Development, BOA – Ghana has been supporting Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) and exporters over the years with trade financing.
He indicated that SMEs form majority of businesses in the Ghanaian economy and tend to bear the brunt of any economic crisis, thus BOA is ready to advance more funding into the SME space.
“This is a better time to support SMEs more and we are ready for them in terms of trade finance support. We want all of them to come on board and be rest assured of our support. In 2023, we are restructuring some of our branches to be SMEs friendly and have special attention to SMEs who walk in for trade finance support, business advisory assistance, and other technical support required,” Mr. William stated.
Mr. Abdul-Rahman reiterated that the bank’s commitment to SME is a journey and not a one-off event. “We want every SME customer that vivisitss to be satisfied with our services and become our ambassador to tell other businesses about how supportive and tailor-made our services are. So, we have deliberate plans in the coming year dedicated to anchoring SME businesses,” he said.